April 17, 2014
With annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance more than double the overall inflation rate, an increasing number of employers are offering consumer-directed health plans to produce more effective and cost-conscious health care consumers. Thirty-eight percent of employers currently offer CDHPs, up from 33 percent in the previous year, according to an annual survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide and the National Business Group on Health. Forty percent of employers offer or plan to offer a health savings account and 26 percent offer or plan to offer a health reimbursement account.
However, the survey of 573 large companies found that the median employee enrollment rate in CDHPs remains a relatively low 8 percent, an increase of only 1 percentage point over the previous year. Forty-three percent of employers with CDHPs have enrollment of 5 percent or less. While the study does not directly correlate the use of CDHPs with cost savings, it shows that enrollment in the plan does. Those with more than 10 percent of their covered workers enrolled in a CDHP experienced a lower cost trend than those with low CDHP enrollment and those that do not offer a CDHP.
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